Parker sentenced to life in prison

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- A Carter County jury handed down the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole to convicted murderer James Eric Parker on Wednesday.

It took a jury of seven men and five women just three and a half hours to decide that James Eric Parker should go to prison for the rest of his life with no possibility of parole.

The decision came down about 5:20 Wednesday evening, and the reaction inside the courtroom was quiet. Before the sentence was read, Associate District Judge Lee Card admonished onlookers in the court that no outbursts would be tolerated. There was however a visible sigh of relief from the Parker Family sitting in the front row. Earlier in the afternoon we spoke with Parker's daughter, Nikki.

"It’s just real hard for all of us right now... That's really all I can say right now."

Parker, convicted of the 2006 murder of Danny Watterson, had no visible reaction as he left the courtroom in handcuffs after the sentence was read.

Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd pushed for the death penalty throughout the trial, and the day before called Watterson's family members to the stand. They also asked the jury to impose the most severe of punishments. Ladd said he believed justice had been served.

"I think he's going to get life without parole plus 20 plus 10, so life without parole plus thirty. You know that's satisfactory and I certainly appreciate the jury's service -- it's a very difficult case to sit on, and all death penalty cases are. I just hope it brings closure to the Watterson family," Ladd said.

Parker received an additional thirty years in state prison on kidnapping and burglary charges.

On Tuesday, the same jury of seven men and five women handed down a guilty verdict on first degree murder, burglary, and kidnapping charges.

Both the Parker and Watterson families were on hand for the trial. The only visible reactions in the courtroom were sighs of relief from the Parker family. This has clearly been a difficult ordeal for both families involved. The Wattersons had no comment on Wednesday’s sentencing.

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  • by cw Location: Ardmore on Feb 9, 2008 at 08:58 PM
    my heart goes out to Eric's family. My grandma was friends with his mom when I was little then I worked with his son Jesse, I don't think it was right for him to kill anyone but sometimes emotions take over and you don't think about what you are doing at the moment. stay strong Parker family. God bless you all
  • by ARDI Location: ARDMORE on Jan 18, 2008 at 02:25 PM
  • by CARTI Location: ARDMORE on Jan 18, 2008 at 01:33 PM
    I think that justice was served in the Parker case...I also believe that you cant play with peoples emotions... Having an affair can cause people to do crazy things i know ive been their..I hope that all these people involved have learned their lesson because they not only affected theirselves they affected other family members...such as their children and grandchildren... Mya god bless all people involved.......
  • by Anonymous on Jan 18, 2008 at 08:02 AM
    Baffled, would it surprise you to know that offer was made? Would it surprise you to know that Parker declined this offer and demanded a trial by jury? Perhaps you should get your facts straight.
  • by Baffled in Ardmore Location: Ardmore on Jan 17, 2008 at 07:40 PM
    This case was basically open/closed. Mr. Parker never claimed to be innocent. Our D.A. could have offered the life without parole deal instead of going to court to MAKE A NAME for himself. That deal would have been accepted and our tax dollars could have went somewhere that is was truly needed....Like to KILL a child molester... But oh no, not Mr. Ladd, he has to waste tax payers dollars on a case that ANYONE could have presented. This was absurd and should have never went to trial.
  • by dumb-found Location: ardmore on Jan 17, 2008 at 06:27 PM
    wonder what it would have taken for the jury to give this murderer the death penalty? you sneak up behind someone and shoot them several times. in fact go back and shoot them again. say you have no remorse and voice you should have killed another. cold blooded but then it's all his exwife's fault anyway. there's lots of crazies in this world....
  • by Bear Location: Carter County on Jan 17, 2008 at 05:54 PM
    Look at Eric's booking picture at the top of this page. Now look back at the video of Eric in court. Gained a few pounds in jail huh? Might even gain a few more in prison. Wonder how much weight Danny has gained? Faithful wife; I hope you never experience what Kim did but if you do I would love to know how you handle it. Anonymous; do you really believe he's paying for what he did? Is he paying the same as Danny did?
  • by Anonymous on Jan 17, 2008 at 04:32 PM
    HE's paying for what he did so shut up
  • by anger in ardmore Location: ardmore on Jan 17, 2008 at 02:29 PM
    this is outrageous! life in prison, just great..a life for a life. why should we as citizens pay for 3 hot meals a day & a warm bed for him to sleep in for the rest of his life.? I say take him out & shoot him, get it over with. i understand that he has children, but he should have been thinking about them before he shot the other guy. either way he's not going to be much use to his kids dead or in prison.
  • by Faithful Wife Location: Oklahoma on Jan 17, 2008 at 11:32 AM
    Wrong is wrong. He killed a man and he must pay for his crime. The wife was unfaithful and she will pay for her crime. She will not answer to any Carter County judge or juror, but a much higher authority. Vengeance is allowed to One and He will fairly judge us all.
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